Man, without energy or resolution, and he allowed W himself to be entirely led by his old guardian the duke of Brunswick, and by his wife Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia, a woman of marked ability, to whom he entirely deferred.
The sparsely populated country afforded a welcome to the fugitive Waldenses, who did something to restore it to prosperity, but this benefit was partly neutralized by the extravagance of the duke, anxious to provide for the expensive tastes of his mistress, Christiana Wilhelmina von Gravenitz.
Having been left a widower on the 3rd of June 1877, he married on the 7th of January 1879 Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia, second daughter of Prince George Victor of Waldeck-Pyrmont, born on the 2nd of August 1858, and Wilhelmina was the only issue of that union.
In that year Wagner married Wilhelmina Planer, an actress at the theatre at Konigsberg.
After his grandfather, George I., became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714, Frederick was known as duke of Gloucester and made a knight of the Garter, having previously been betrothed to Wilhelmina Sophia Dorothea (1709-1758), daughter of Frederick William I., king of Prussia, and sister of Frederick the Great.
A large stained-glass window commemorates the taking of the oath by Queen Wilhelmina in 1898.
Her dissolute court was a bad home for a boy who was to be the sovereign, but Catherine took great trouble to arrange his first marriage with Wilhelmina of Darmstadt, who was renamed in Russia Nathalie Alexeevna, in 1773.
The marriage, only accepted by Wilhelmina under threats from her father and with a view to lightening her brother's disgrace, proved at the outset a happy one, though it was clouded at first by narrow means, and afterwards by the infidelities of the future margrave with Dorothea von Marwitz, whose ascendancy at the court of Baireuth was bitterly resented by Frederick the Great, and caused an estrangement of some three years between Wilhelmina and the brother she so devotedly loved.